Top Architectural Elements of the Pennsylvania Farmhouse 1. The rough stone exterior provides a critical framework to the overall design, which is crisp yet rustic. 2. The recycled Douglas fir-beamed ceiling, located in the family room, works with the clerestory windows and the large rustic flagstone fireplace to create a warm country ambiance. 3. “ Valley Forge” flagstone floors, the rich green slate flooring, and gray-soapstone and bluestone counters—featured throughout the house—add to the home’s farmhouse feel.
L. Barry davidson architects An ENDURING firm CONTINUES TO CREATE CUSTOM HOMES IN A once-untapped market
4. Vintage-pine stained woodwork and wide-board floors in the interior carry the same warm, earthy values as the other finishes. 5. Interior clerestory windows were built into the inside wall of the family room, and they allow natural light and a connection to the guest bedrooms above via operable antique pine shutters.
PHOTOS: Miro Dvorscak
by Julie Edwards Designing custom homes with a cohesive thread, L. Barry Davidson Architects has built a well-respected niche in the Houston, Texas, architectural landscape. “When I started my firm in 1978, most homes were track housing—there was very little residential design work,” principal Leslie Davidson says. “I felt I needed to distinguish myself and, at the time, very few architects were focusing on residential projects only.” As a result, Davidson decided to specialize in custom residential architecture, both new-construction and remodeling projects. “Narrowing my focus allowed me to become exceptional in that one area,” Davidson says.
“While it’s a little unusual, this specialization also means my work is very cohesive and architecturally correct.” Davidson prides herself, as well, on her complete candidness with clients. “It is paramount to face the facts of the project upfront, including any issues over costs or project limitations,” she says. “I have lost projects for being so candid, but my clients also are not surprised later in the process.” The firm has remained small since its inception over three decades ago, allowing Davidson to maintain a hands-on approach and also allowing the business to weather economic and industry ups-and-downs. Currently, the firm completes
five to six projects per year, ranging in size from 3,000 to 10,000 square feet. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the firm is that the architects are also licensed interior designers. “I started working in interiors because my clients kept asking for my assistance with choosing finishes,” Davidson says. “Now, having a dual specialty in interior design [and architecture] gives our firm an edge and is an asset, as well, because it helps the continuity and flow of the design, giving our projects a completed, cohesive feel.” One of the firm’s notable projects is the Southern Colonial, an amply proportioned house set on a wooded, five-acre site in Houston. Three years
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